Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
On a related note: do birds enjoy flying? Are they amazed that they can do it? Do they ever, while soaring above the treetops, think, "Holy shit! I'm flying!!!"
Today: Bike commute, then to the gym for an hour of Pilates. The thing about Pilates is that it's really easy... if you're doing it wrong. If you're doing it right, it's quite difficult, even excruciating at times. Tonight I concentrated on keeping my abs scooped and tight.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
You might not agree that this would be comedy gold. But you have to admit that it would represent a quantum leap forward for fairness and equality in America. How often are buff guys in Speedos depicted positively in American films? They're always idiots and narcissists and douchebags who steal the hot girl from the nerdy protagonist. It's shameful that in the United States of America -- a nation that takes such pride in electing a black president, and has elected people of every race and religion, as well as atheists, gay people, and asshats -- a buff guy in a Speedo has never won election to any public office.
Hours this week: 13.75
Hours this year: 178.75
Miles skated this week: 0
Miles this year: Skates 596, Bike 701
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Today: Went to the gym and did the full FrameWorks strength and stretching workout. Time 2:00. That time should come down as I learn the routine better. I've also been doing some isometric exercises to strengthen my quads, which I'm hoping will stabilize my bum knee.
Friday, April 24, 2009
(By the way, using face scrub -- instead of Lava soap, or 40-grit sandpaper -- to wash my face, and using the word "exfoliate" unironically, does not make me The Gay. The face scrub comes in a gunmetal-gray tube with a pine tree drawing on the front, so anybody can see that it's for manly men.)
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The FrameWorks guy recommends doing a single set of 12-15 reps with the lifts done v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y -- a four-count on the lift, a brief pause, then a four-count on the descent. The idea is develop strength across the entire range of motion, and to add emphasis to the negative lift, as compared to the way most people lift weights, which overemphasizes the bottom half of the lift up to the sticking point. This makes sense, but lifting so slowly (combined with my weak upper body) means that I have to use embarrassingly light weights. I could only do 10 reps on the bench press with a naked 45-pound bar, and for the lateral raises I had to use 5-pound dumbbells. I'm used to being the runt of the weight room, but tonight I found myself muttering, "There's not one of you steakheads who can run 50 miles or skate 24 hours" even more than usual.
(419) xxx -8756 and (419) xxx-7963
Can you figure out why? I'll put the answer in the comments.
EXPLANATORY NOTE FOR CANADIAN READERS: In the American English dialect, "The Awesome" is its own plural, like "moose" and "shitmoose."
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Then I came home and polished off a dark chocolate Easter bunny -- for the antioxidants, of course; chocolate makes me want to vomit -- while watching a swimming instructional DVD. For the sake of balance and all-around fitness, I want to add swimming to my workout matrix/rubric/schema/conspiracy, but sadly, I'm a terrible swimmer: my freestyle stroke is an awful display of thrashing and gasping and craning my neck to make sure I don't run into the wall. I've looked into swimming lessons, but for adults the only option seems to be private lessons, which are too expensive.
Weighed in at 152 this morning, down 1 pound from last week.
Today The Awesome is that the word “anal” has become perfectly acceptable to use in polite conversation -- as long as you hide it in the phrase “anal retentive,” much like concealing your dog’s worm pill in a bit of ground beef. People who would never refer to their penis or vulva in front of casual acquaintances, or even say “I have a carbuncle on my anus,” nevertheless feel perfectly comfortable saying, “I have to have my picture frames perfectly level. I’m so anal!” Sweet.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Yoga is going pretty well. Even though the poses we're doing don't look terribly difficult, for me they are quite challenging. Typically we assume some position and then go through steps of aligning and lengthening our bodies, with each pose held longer than in other yoga classes I've taken. It's hard to believe that standing straight with my hands in the air can be so taxing!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Hours this week: 8?
Hours this year: 165
Miles skated this week: 0
Miles this year: Skates 596, Bike 624
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Primarily I made this decision because I don't believe that my body (and especially my left knee) can tolerate the strain of training for the world record this summer. A lifetime of imbalanced training has left me with an imbalanced body -- strong in many areas, but too weak and inflexible in others. I'm afraid that pushing forward with this year's training schedule as planned will break one of these weak links, either forcing me into a lengthy recovery or compromising my performance on race day, as happened last year.
With this in mind, I plan to spend the rest of this year researching injury prevention and using this knowledge to build a strong, flexible, balanced, and resilient body that can handle the hundreds of hours -- and thousands of miles of skating -- that I'll need to log to break the world record. I'm also looking forward to attending another Eddy Matzger seminar and working on my form and technique, which is the weakest part of my skating.
Additionally, I've been considering some new ideas regarding the character of the world record attempt. Originally I had intended to make an unofficial, cheap-skate, plain-jane attempt that would consist of me skating laps at Denver's Washington Park one summer weekend (you can read about my reasons for wanting to do an informal attempt here). However, with time I have realized that this is a bad idea, for a number of reasons: the city denied my request for permission to skate overnight; the typical weekend Wash Park traffic of pedestrians, cyclists, dogs, and kids on tricycles hinders me considerably; and Wash Park has hills, as well as sprinklers that soak the course at night with reeking pond water.
So I'm now looking for a closed, flat course where I can set an official Guinness World Record. I'm also considering organizing an event with multiple skaters vying for the world record over the same 24 hours, and combining all of this with a charity fundraiser. All of this will require a lot of energy and time to plan, which is why I'm starting now. I will be posting details as the picture becomes clearer.
I'm a little disappointed to be postponing an event that I've been looking forward to for more than two years, but mostly I'm happy that with the extra time I will be able to organize an exciting event, and most of all that I'll be able to give the world record my best possible effort. I wish good fortune to Philippe Coussy with his own world record attempt this fall, and I look forward to hearing about his result. Godspeed, mon ami!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
More importantly, I'm quitting WIHT because the negativity of dwelling on what I dislike in life -- every day -- has started to weigh on my soul. I've even been carrying around a little notebook so that when I think of something I hate, I can write it down and post it as a WIHT item later. Which reminds me of something I read a while back: apparently multiple studies in the field of positive psychology have demonstrated that people who spend time every day writing down, and thinking about, the things they are thankful for in life, tend to grow happier over time. If that's true, what would happen to the happiness of a man who spent time every day writing down, and thinking about, the things he hates?
So I'm going to spend the rest of week posting new information about the world record attempt, and then I hope to get around to some other kind of daily non-WR-related posting, maybe What I Love Today or some such. It will be interesting to see if it's harder to make funnies while writing about The Awesome.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Philippe’s story is told in Man on Wire, a documentary that recounts, in film noir style, the details of his outrageous caper. The movie reveals Petit to be an utterly charming man, a red-haired imp bursting with joie de vivre and total confidence in his talent. As I watched him walk across the sky, I found myself identifying with his quest for the impossible, and with his desire to create something beautiful and fantastic. I will be thinking about M. Petit often as I pursue my own quest (a pursuit, coincidentally enough, in which my rival is a red-haired Frenchman named Philippe).
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Right now you are saying, "Hey, why don't you lock your phone's keypad?" Ha ha, I am way ahead of you! I do lock the keypad, of course, but the phonegasm function works even when the keypad is locked. Which would seem to defeat the purpose of locking the keypad. But what does a Harvard dropout like me know?
*Or occasionally when I'm enjoying some frottage on the C train.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
*EXPLANATORY NOTE FOR CANADIAN READERS: Harvard is America's McGill.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Weighed in at 154 this morning, up 3 pounds from two weeks ago. No great surprise given the combination of gluttony and sloth I've been enjoying.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
From a design standpoint (that is, nothing to do with politics or national pride) I like the Canadian flag better than the US flag. The Stars and Stripes is not a bad design, but for my taste it is a bit busy and overly freighted with symbolism -- 50 stars for the 50 states! Thirteen stripes for the 13 colonies! The red represents the blood spilled in the Revolution! Et cetera! Remember when you were a kid trying to draw the American flag, and you couldn’t get all the stripes the right width, or get all fifty stars in the blue field, let alone in the right pattern? But I bet Canadian kids can draw their flag, albeit with lopsided maple leaves.
In defense of Old Glory, I will say that it beats out the Mexican flag, which has nice colors, but I can’t stand the cluttery coat of arms in the middle.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Also, at the urging of my yoga-ninja sister, I registered for a series of basics classes at a nearby Iyengar yoga center, to start on Monday.
I am enjoying my down time but I do need some physical activity -- the lack of stress relief has brought the usual headaches and tinnitus, plus I keep catching myself clenching my teeth. I hope I'm not grinding them in my sleep. I also have to force myself not to hunch over the steering wheel when I drive. Stress is weird.
McDonald’s, of course, wanted me to read this claim and imagine an eagle-eyed inspector in a sterile lab coat --I envision him wearing a monocle and speaking in a German accent -- exhaustively examining each egg and rejecting specimens that fail to meet McDonalds’s stringent standards. But how is anything like that possible? Even if an egg inspector can average 1 inspection per second (for 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, without going insane), McDonald’s would need more than 400 inspectors to meet the demand. My guess is that McDonald’s egg inspection process consists of bored employees trying not to fall asleep while crates of eggs on conveyor belts whoosh past.
And how do you inspect an egg, anyway? The part we eat is inside the shell, right? Maybe the inspectors look for broken eggs, and then inspect the contents. “Hey, this egg is perfect! Too bad we can’t use it, because the shell is broken.”